Before you come into membership, we do want you to know that we recognise that there may come a time when God calls you from SBC to another place. Because membership is a public covenant of commitment to God’s people in a particular place, leaving a church should never be taken lightly. But there are Biblically appropriate reasons why you might have to move on:
- You are moving to a new location and wish to be involved in the local church there
- There are opportunities for service in a local needy church and you are being sent there by the leadership of SBC
- There is a clear drift from the Basis of Faith of the church and the Leadership are not acting to deal with it (1Tim 4:13, 2Tim 3:13-17, Titus 1:9)
- The Leadership are not matching the requirements of Elders and Deacons (1 Tim 3:1-13, 5:17-20, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Pet 5:1-4)
Other reasons are not normally appropriate. Actually if we feel we should leave for any other reason we should carefully examine our own hearts so that we test ourselves against God’s word. Paul’s instructions to the church at Corinth (1 Cor 4-9, 2 Cor 4:5) are helpful here.
If, having examined your heart, your reason to leave is Biblically appropriate, the process by which you would leave membership is as follows:
- Pray, seeking God regarding the reasons for moving on. Ensure these are Biblical reasons;
- Invite the elders to meet with you as early as possible in your thinking and praying;
- Meet and pray with the elders;
- Agree, prayerfully, on whether it is appropriate to leave
We are keen that you should always be linked to a church as rapidly as possible after leaving. Before you leave we will pray together in a church service for you. We will help in pointing out good churches to consider, and will continue to contact you and pray for you while you are looking, until you settle into the church God has for you.